Group ‘Edit-a-thon’ to improve Wikipedia articles about women in science

I thought this might be of interest as a perhaps inspiringly productive way of addressing at least some of the issues we discuss about on this blog……

What: Women in science: Wikipedia workshop

When: Friday 19 October 2012, 14.30-20.00
Where: The Royal Society, London

Group ‘Edit-a-thon’ to improve Wikipedia articles about women in science,
held at the Royal Society’s library.

The event is open to people who are new to Wikipedia and experienced
Wikipedia editors. Female editors are particularly encouraged to attend.

At the workshop representatives from Wikimedia UK will explain how
Wikipedia works and be on hand to answer questions about editing and
improving Wikipedia articles.

The Society’s library holds a rich collection of printed works about women
in science, including biographies and works authored by scientists. At the
event the Society’s librarians will explain more about the collections and
provide guidance on finding sources.

Before the event the Society will select Wikipedia articles relating to
women in science which need improving. Attendees will be encouraged to work
together to edit those articles, using the library’s resources.

For more information and to register for a place please go to:

Abolishing Prostitution: Possible? Desirable?

In “Abolishing Prostution: A Feminist Human Rights Treaty,”  Kathleen Barry “argues that the time is ripe for a UN treaty to bolster ongoing efforts to end prostitution.”

Barry tells us of Normal Hotaling who founded SAGE (Standing Against Global Exploitation) which has worked to end prostitution in San Fransicso in part by offering customers who are first time offenders the opportunity to attend  a “school for Johns directed and taught by prostitution survivors.”  Seems to work, too.  Over 12 years only 4-5% of johns have been arrested a second time.

On the treaty,The Convention Against Sexual Exploitation, Barry supports:

“In addition to arresting, jailing and fining johns, this treaty would requires state to provide women with health and training programs and jobs, the absence of which sends so many women to streets, brothels and to immigrate for work.  It would require that states prevent the sexual exploitation of women during wartime and insure the safety of migrating women. In other words, criminalizing customers must be accompanied with women’s equal access to jobs and their special vulnerabilities to sexual exploitation (prior sexual abuse, poverty, immigration, war) requires state support.”

I understand and appreciate the sex workers’ movement to an extent, but feel it obscures much of the suffering of and violence against women as well as the human trafficking and exploitation that are too often part and parcel of sex work.   In other words, I support the treaty.  What do you think?

How to make Bibles even more sexist

Both Bibles are the product of author Sheila Walsh, who writes an ongoing “God’s Little Princess” and “God’s Mighty Warrior” series. Highlights include: God’s Little Princess: Dreaming of a Pink Christmas; Gigi, God’s Little Princess 4: The Pink Ballerina; Gigi, God’s Little Princess 3: Bursting With Readiness (I’m reasonably sure this one isn’t porn – but the title gives me pause); Will, God’s Mighty Warrior: They Mystery of Magillicuddy’s Gold; and Will, God’s Mighty Warrior: The Creepy Caves Mystery. You can see the full list here (scroll down to the ‘Children’s Books’ section).

Apparently, God wants little boys to epic, mystery-solving adventurers and little girls to be. . .pink obsessed ballerinas? I don’t even know. I’m truly baffled by this one.

Finally, Someone Asks How Men Balance a Career & Family

From Inside Higher Ed: “Male Scientist Balancing Act”

Numerous studies have focused on how women in academic science balance their quest for career advancement with their family responsibilities. A study released here at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association (by researchers who have done considerable research on women in science) turns to male scientists, and asks how they balance work and home responsibilities.

The scholars conducted in-depth interviews with 74 physicists and biologists who are graduate students or faculty members at prestigious universities, and the results illustrate options that male scientists have that many female scientists who have or want children lack.


Some of those interviewed expressed awareness of how they benefited [from having stay at home wives]. “For me it’s a little easier because I have a wife that has stayed home and taken care of [the children]. I imagine it would be much much more challenging if I didn’t have a spouse that was planning on staying home,” said one.

But others seemed decidedly less sympathetic to the impact of their choices. Asked, “Do you think that having children then is difficult to manage with being a scientist?” one physicist said, “No, absolutely not. That’s why you have a wife.”

Emphasis mine.

P.S. The title of this post contains at least 25% snark.